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Do you agree with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's decision to start the Olympic stadium design process from scratch?

23 Comments
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Interesting that 80% of readers agree with Abe's decision (including me). Yet when he made that decision on Friday, most of Japan Today's readers were posting insulting remarks about Abe.

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

@Brainiac

I was one of those making negative remarks about Abe and I also voted 'Yes'. But I don't see anything unusual or inconsistent about that.

The stadium was a poor choice from the start. Most of us could have predicted that such an ambitious design would go way over budget and the cost has ballooned in part because of a weaker yen, a labour shortage and a culture where construction companies get away with overcharging the government... all of which the LDP is partly responsible for.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

I voted no, only because I feel that this will become a convenient way to scapegoat the architect, and blame foreigners for the cost. Mark my words the new stadium will end up costing almost the same price, and won't be half as nice!

Moderator: Please repost without the "blame foreigners" reference, which is not relevant.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yet when he made that decision on Friday, most of Japan Today's readers were posting insulting remarks about Abe.

It's Abe for cripes sake. I wish he would tell the IOC that Japan can't host the Olympics until all the people in Tohoku are resettled and the country has higher priorities than just the spectacle of wasting money on the Olympics.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Braniac: It's not that they don't agree with "Abe's decision", it's that they don't agree with ABE, who decided this LONG after it should have been done LONG ago. That's what makes this question so ludicrous -- it makes it seem like Abe made a good choice after shoving these huge debts down your throat, and we're STILL going to be stuck making a new stadium that only at projected cost will be 60 billion yen more than the promise in the bid -- and that will most certainly go up due to 'unexpected' costs.

They were also criticizing Abe because it was a choice obviously made ONLY because of a sag in popularity due to him ramming through defense bills no one agrees with, and after for weeks straight PROMISING that he would NOT do what he ended up doing because "Japan would not be taken seriously" and "because it was too late", and needless to say because he would also be breaking his promise to the world rugby association.

Saying you either 'support Abe's choice' or don't is stupid -- the man does not deserve credit for backing out of something that never should have been in the first place.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

The "decision" itself is non-brainer-more precisely speaking, it's been non-brainer even from the beginning-since those who gave a go to the project didn't even calculate the cost. However, the way it is presented feels very odd since, while the "decision" is merely back-pedaling, Abe is trying to appear as a capable leader. Adding yet another stupidity to this farce.

Abe already exploited Olympic "bubble" through the usual "baramaki" politics, which enabled him to do whatever he likes to do. He even increased the tax. I wonder how far a politician can go thick-skinned.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Abe didn't decide to start the Olympic Stadium design process from scratch.

He caved to pressure.

He cannot afford to be much more unpopular than he is right now!

Moderator: This is not what the question asks you.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I can't disagree that the cost was far too much, but why was it cancelled just now? It's been way over-budget for half a year now. Good for Japan if they can still finish in time for the Olympics, but seeing as Japan's Rugby World Cup bid was built on the back of having that flash new stadium, I wish the IRB would reconsider their bid. Quite an insult to now hold the final at a stadium with only half the capacity Japan promised.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The last thing the world's most densely populated city needs is the Olympics first off or a massive structure taking up valuable space with little to no real financial value.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Can't actually start from scratch since the original stadium was demolished unnecessarily......

5 ( +8 / -3 )

I've said from the beginning that a new stadium, particularly one for 80,000, was a mistake. Japan and Asia are not big on track and field and even if you could get a local football club to play there (doubtful as no one is going to rent a facility that large because of cost if they can't sell more than 20,000 seats), it will never be used enough to justify a facility that big or, most important, expensive.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Everyone & their mother (japanese people) were so enthusiastic about the 2020 games coming to Tokyo rather than Madrid. Now all of a sudden, all those arrogant people are complaining what it will cost them. . . . I hope in 4 &1/2 years the Ministry of "sports" / olympics- or whatever moron(s) in charge, could figure it out perhaps-

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

This has all the hallmarks of a leader - Abe - trying to confirm himself as captain of the ship after there has been rumblings of discontent amongst the crew due to the messiness of recent decision making. Read as - I'm strong!

I can't really imagine other G7 leaders wielding the axe in similar circumstances to show who's on top.

Beautifully Choreographed Pantomine.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I think its true that part of his motive was to gain back support lost from pushing through the security bill in the lower house but I also think it was a legitimate call.

The initial estimate that they asked the architect to design the venue was at around 1,300,000,000 yen right? Makes no sense to go with a plan that will cost double that at least (many speculate the total would be much higher cuz of the lack of planning for logistics and rising wages of construction workers as a result of lower labour supply).

Its annoying to think that so much money has already gone to the architect and won't be reimbursed.

@ Brainiac Yea its kinda sad how so many on JT are so partisan, they hate PM Abe dogmatically and can't judge each action individually.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I voted yes, but I think they should just scrap the whole thing and use something already built.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Everyone & their mother (japanese people) were so enthusiastic about the 2020 games coming to Tokyo rather than Madrid.

Actually not true. The real support among Japanese citizens was evenly divided (or even under half), but the media cheerleading might have tricked many into believing so.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

When the Japanese people express discontent at the enormous waste and debt that typifies what passes as political leadership here then it is quite obvious that the decision to revise the stadium's specification is purely political.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The fear I have is that building the replacement stadium will cost more than completing the original one.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

This is maybe the one thing Abe has done right. If Abe would just step down as Prime Minister and (only) take control of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Stadium build his popularity would probably hit 99%+

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yet when he made that decision on Friday, most of Japan Today's readers were posting insulting remarks about Abe.

There were two choices, agree to start again or stick to the original plan which was a monumental disaster. Lesser of two evils.......

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'd like to see proper transparent accounts for this white elephant, given that my grandchildren will still be paying for it.

But let's face it, the books will all be burned like they were after Nagano. We're just the piggy bank for the criminals in charge.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Abe has done a lot right, and is trying to do more. As for the stadium, for those who follow Japanese news in Japanese, one of -if not the biggest- proponent of the continuing and skyrocketing costs is ex-PM Mori, who is in it for self-aggrandizement purposes. He wouldn't stop it even if the costs went higher. Since costs, finally, put a halt to this stadium's nonsense, a replacement one will likely be more practical and cost much less.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Scrapping the design just means more money will be wasted and the final design will be rushed, so it will probably be poor in every way and end up costing what the original one would have anyway.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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